Victoria Ki Andar Ki Baat Hain

60 Comments

One of the misconceptions (and that may have been due to a scene in “Enemy of the State”) I had about the US before I came here was that premier lingerie shops in the US (which I then thought was Victoria’s Secret) employed models who live-demoed their merchandise.

This sensualized ideal lasted till my first visit to Victoria’s Secret (let me assure you not to wear their products myself), an experience that was a huge let-down.

Firstly, with an outlet in almost every major mall, I realized that it was not as exclusive as I had once thought. Secondly the only lingerie-clad models you were likely to encounter were two-dimensional black-white representations of beautiful women framed on the walls and under diffused lighting. And thirdly the most shocking thing about the place were the prices on the tags, constituting perhaps the highest dollars per thread  number you would encounter (unless you went to places like Saks Fifth Avenue, which I avoid).

It must be accepted that, to their credit, Victoria’s Secrets shops try their best to be as seductive as possible with a very “sex shop” decor, lots of mirrors, the right lighting and the use of bright pink against silver and dressing rooms that says “Strip” in bright pink letters on the wall-length mirror (Again let me re-assert that I did not find this out while trying on a product myself .)

And if you are a geek with an interest in structural engineering there are enough practical uses of concepts of support, cantilevers and the strength of materials to keep them engaged for days on end.

There is also the chuckle-raising realization as your eyes scan over the assembled wares that this is the only place in the world where a D is better than an A and a DD is given for extra effort.

At the very least, a VS store is a few steps above the Indian “hosiery” store  where storekeeprs would shout “Ei namaa to opor theke ekta aath-threesh boudir jonne” (Ei throw down a 38 for “boudi” here) with all the subtlety of  Shatabdi Express and where Gopal ganjee (baniyan) cartons share space with Belle Extra Support (for some reason  whenever I looked surreptitiously at those cartons, past the disapproving stare of the store uncle, the only thing that came to my mind were season cricket balls with prominent seams—-what would Wasim Akram do if he got hold of such a prominent seam I thought)

However all the sensuality of the Victoria’s Secret experience, the little that remained, was wiped out yesterday. As I waited outside the changing rooms, in came 3 short and corpulent Punjabi middle-aged ladies (well above 50—their age that is) with their Hindi/Punjabi breaking the relative silence like a scythe through the sarson da kheth.

One of them went to the panties station and took 5 of them in her hand and started rummaging through them as if searching for fresh potatoes. Another went to a mannequin and started rubbing the mannequin’s bottom while pointing to the third, in Hindi, that she did not want this kind of  “bikini-wala” underwear.

Why?

Because, as she said with a  “sharmili” smile — ‘”usko” woh pasand naheen hain’.

One of the aunties, whose English skills seemed better than the two, described somehow what she thought the other aunty wanted.

The saleslady took them to the thongs section.

Then the Aunty, who was evidently going to get dressed up in the ensemble to please “woh”, blurted out to the saleslady what else she needed.

Topless bras.

Yes you heard that right. Topless bras. Now some of you might think that it is an oxymoron like “non-alcoholic wine” but I somehow realized what she wanted, before the confused saleslady did.

She wanted strapless bras.

And then she showed with her hands, in a manner I dare not describe, that she wanted them to be push-up.

At that moment, a very disturbing mental picture formed in my demented mind—- Punjabi aunty, mid 50s, in a strapless push up and thongs dancing seductively in front of “woh”, with a rose between her lips to the tune of “Singh is King”—an image that will require serious exorcism to be wiped away.

Move aside Giselle Bundchen. Step up Gurinder Bundchen.

Lingerie buying at Victoria’s Secret, at least for me, will never be the same again.

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60 thoughts on “Victoria Ki Andar Ki Baat Hain

  1. The phrase ‘video blogging’ comes to mind, Arnab. As, perhaps, does the word ‘Tehelka!’.

    Next time, just order online.

  2. “Lingerie buying at Victoria’s Secret, at least for me, will never be the same again.”

    Even though you reassured twice that you were really not trying the products, the last line gave it all away 🙂

    Really, Victoria could not keep the secret from you in the end and left you wishing if this really could ‘linger’ on as it was…!

    What a pity!

  3. “There is also the chuckle-raising realization as your eyes
    scan over the assembled wares that this is the only place in the world where a D is better than a A and a DD is given for extra effort.”

    LOL

    Interesting and imaginative as always 😀

  4. Soumitro, I agree. The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Fitting room-e ke? aami bra porini.

    We must not succumb to this Victorian prudishness, especially when our gods and heroes, from mahabharat to Bollywood, spend half their lives cross-dressed.

  5. I for one found the imagery interesting. I know we link sexy undergarment to hot women but when V.S manufactures the size 42E or 26A- you have to realize there is a whole gamut of body shapes and sizes.
    Three cheers for Gurinder Bundchen.

  6. LOL 😀

    This post reminded me of a small incident (again with a sardarni involved) that I happenned to witness in Tokyo last year.

    I heard a salwar kameez-clad 40-ish sadarni saying this to her son (about 12) just outside a sex-shop(let me tell you sex-shops are pretty commonplace in Tokyo and are in every shopping area), ointing to an object on display in the showcase : “Pata nahi puttar. Electric candles honge. Dekh peechhe bijli-wali plug lagi huyee hain.”
    To which her son replied : “Par mummy, candles ko power ki kya zaroorat?”
    I couldn’t hear them after this I as I had crossed them by that time.

    I guess I don’t have to elaborate further on what they were thinking of as ‘candles’. 😉

  7. “Punjabi aunty, mid 50s, in a strapless push up and thongs dancing seductively in front of “woh”, with a rose between her lips to the tune of “Singh is King”—” – Exorcism ????? It might even need a complete brain-transplant!

  8. Aha, I see so many of them all the time in delhi. Now I know their ‘secrets’, thanks to you! 😛
    Its a pleasure to read you. I try and write a blog, wIll really make my day if you were to check it. Fingers crossed.
    Take care
    Vimal

  9. At that moment, a very disturbing mental picture formed in my demented mind—- Punjabi aunty, mid 50s, in a strapless push up and thongs dancing seductively in front of “woh”, with a rose between her lips to the tune of “Singh is King”—an image that will require serious exorcism to be wiped away……

    Oh my god!!!!

    Three much GB. Priceless imagination

  10. “Punjabi aunty, mid 50s, in a strapless push up and thongs dancing seductively in front of “woh”, with a rose between her lips to the tune of “Singh is King””.

    Why do u have to put up such a ghatly image in our minds.
    The image will keep hovering all day…
    Yuck!!!

  11. “At that moment, a very disturbing mental picture formed in my demented mind—- Punjabi aunty, mid 50s, in a strapless push up and thongs dancing seductively in front of “woh”…
    ..Lingerie buying at Victoria’s Secret, at least for me, will never be the same again.”

    And thus, in just 2 paragraphs, you have robbed us readers of half of our libidos. 😦 Lingerie will never be the same again.

  12. Wah Wah GB… YOU are back.

    You don’t need to imagine anything. You are not ‘woh’… are you?

    VS and their snootiness be damned. Is the VS store a library that you are supposed to observe silence there and talk in hushed tone? Let them howl. The stuff is supposed to make you feel good. Express it. You were morose because you were calculating dollars per thread / hook / velcro and whatever else it is.

    Look at it this way. The aunty’s are in the 50’s and ‘woh’ must be even older. They are making a serious effort to keep the ‘fires burning’. These people must have grown up kids, have serious money and are still serious about each other. Seriously, impressed.

  13. “Lingerie buying at Victoria’s Secret, at least for me, will never be the same again”
    Hmmmmmmmm….GB,you used to frquent VS didnt u?Else why wont it be the same again?
    Another GB secret unleashed.

  14. GB is back… and how!! after the disappointment of last post, this one is classic GB…

    “And if you are a geek with an interest in structural engineering there are enough practical uses of concepts of support, cantilevers and the strength of materials to keep them engaged for days on end”

    For gems like these, we keep coming back to your blog…

    Jeeo guru… 🙂

  15. Eeew!!! too graphic for my taste. I will always hold this against you… having never travelled beyond the Indian border, I had something to look fwd to,atleast to imagine!! Now you have hardly left any of Victoria’s secrets to imagination.
    🙂

  16. As usual Arnab_da…you are the man… what I still don’t understand is why on earth would you go to VS and not CK? (I mean if you are genuinely interested in fancy underthings) But:

    At that moment, a very disturbing mental picture formed in my demented mind—- Punjabi aunty, mid 50s, in a strapless push up and thongs dancing seductively in front of “woh”, with a rose between her lips to the tune of “Singh is King”—an image that will require serious exorcism to be wiped away.

    Move aside Giselle Bundchen. Step up Gurinder Bundchen.

    Made my day…I’ll die a happy man.

  17. I am still laughing!

    May you get a ‘topless bra’ wearing sardarni perform a chhamma chhamma every time you visit a lingerie shop. 😀 I bless you, my son. 😛

  18. LOL.. Hillarious post. But seriously I alwayz wanted to be one of the mirrors in the changing room of ladies wear shops. I am sure there is a underlined game of serious war between all the mirrors in the world to be part of one such room. BTW you should visit the multi storied sari outlets in Chennai. Theres one such ‘sarimall’ called Pothys. 6 storied building full of saris !! I once had to enter that place, and while I was entering the topmost floor there was a big banner which said ‘for the first time in India , American holographic sari’! 😛

  19. Brilliant. Jamie Lee Curtis in True Lies, now with punjabification.

    Are these the same 50 salwar clad ladies I saw walking into the Zanzibar club, yknow, where they had the pole-dancing crash course special?

  20. From Jhuma

    “May you get a ‘topless bra’ wearing sardarni perform a chhamma chhamma every time you visit a lingerie shop. I bless you, my son.”

    I just saw this comment. This makes me laugh harder than the post itself. I dea of a befuddled GB outside the VS changing room and the punju aunties described above in front of him gets me ROFLing!

    btw I must join the voices that say our friend GB explains too much about not trying out the stuff… daal mein kuch kala.

    Thanks GB completly enjoyed the post. May your dementia thrive and prosper!

  21. And with that this boudi totally collapsed into hysterical shrieks of laughter, causing the rest of the office to look around in fear and concern, of which fear prevailed and the asylum called in…

    Seriously though, topless bras. Punjabi Uncle was one lucky man.

  22. Punjabi pronunciations often make for funny incidences. Check my latest post on my blog. And then the other day the same Punjabi guy asked me..Tum ne yaar murkeet gira di aaj!! [the day US Senate rejected the bailout and Dow dropped horribly] And I was like WHAT gira di maine?? He, again – ‘murkeet gira di’!! It was then that I realized he meant ‘Market gira di’.

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